Multicultural Considerations for Curriculum Developers of Online Courses

Multicultural Considerations for Curriculum Developers of Online Courses

Beth Sargent (California State University, Fullerton, CA, USA), Cynthia Gautreau (California State University, Fullerton, CA, USA) and Kristin Stang (California State University, Fullerton, CA, USA)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/ijopcd.2014100103

Abstract

Grounded in the dimensional model of national culture, the purpose of this literature review was to investigate (a) the cultural impact of globalization on online instruction (in particular Eastern and Western beliefs and values), (b) the knowledge needed by curriculum developers (i.e., instructional designers and online instructors) to create multicultural appropriate content, (c) the identification of appropriate design strategies to promote cultural inclusion; and (d) cultural and functional priorities in the global workplace. Findings from the review of pertinent literature were used to create six guidelines appropriate for curriculum developers who design content for multicultural audiences. These guidelines are intended for online curriculum developers as they design coursework using multicultural design strategies.
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Dimensional Model Of National Culture

In the dimensional model of national culture, cultures are divided into five dimensions: power distance, individualism versus collectivism, masculinity versus femininity, uncertainty avoidance, and long term orientation versus short-term orientation (Hofstede et al., 2005). As defined by Hofstede et al. (2005), power distance refers to social hierarchy and an individual’s perceived place among the hierarchy. Collectivism is related to group dynamics and belonging to a group. In contrast, individualism refers to an individual or immediate family identity. Masculinity relates to success through the attainment of money and power, whereas femininity is related to caring and the quality of life. Uncertainty avoidance is the way people feel about changes and innovation, and the avoidance of new or unfamiliar situations. Dimension five, long-term orientation, is when societies place value on the future. In contrast short-term orientation is when value is placed on the past and present.

These cultural dimensions may be of importance to online course development. Subsequently, the foci are applied as the theoretical foundation for this literature review and the multicultural course design recommendations that follow.

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